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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello - I purchased a used 2002 Sequoia Limited 14 months ago. The dealer replaced the front tires a while ago, and ever since, every highway trip has been disappointing as the truck seemed to be blown all over the road - constantly requiring steering correction.
So, after reading a few threads here, I had 4 Michelin LTX put on, and after going back after the initial service rep did not follow instructions, the service manager had the caster maxed out. The place has the Hunter equipment - but they did not do the road force balance - the first joker saying not needed with the new Michelins. The car is much better - but when there is a wind of 15 mph or more, or even when a large truck blows by, I still feel the vehicle being buffeted and pulled.
Is this an issue that could be corrected by Road Force Balance, are there other possible issues, or is this just the way this vehicle handles? Thanks
 

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The road force balance isn't going to correct handling problems.
I have an '01 Sequoia and it is definitely affected by crosswinds.
All you have to do is look at the large expanse of metal - it's like
driving a rudder down the road. I replaced the OEM Bridgestones
with Michelin Pilot LTXs to improve the ride and wet weather handling
and that is all they did. The Vehicle still needs constant corrections
when it's windy - welcome to the world of slab sided high center of
gravity SUVs.

dogger
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK. Thanks. I kind of figured that. I like the idea of riding in a large vehicle like the Seq and also my 94 LandCruiser. The LC did not seem as bad as the Seq in the wind. I would guess the Tundra is not affected by the wind as much...
 

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You're right about the Land Cruiser. In addition to sporting a more
sophisticated suspension, a good portion of it's mass is centralized
in an overbuilt frame. Combine that with lighter weight body panels
and you achieve a lower center of gravity than the Sequoia. Lower
center of gravity = better handling characteristics.

Crosswinds are noticeable but not a problem with the Tundra.

If the squirrely handling is a real concern and you want to keep
your Sequoia, I would suggest lowering it a few inches with either
an airbag suspension kit (big bucks) or a conventional lowering
kit (not so big bucks) and 55 or 60 series tires on stock diameter
rims. You will give up some ground clearance and the ride will be
stiffer with the lower profile tires but it will definitely handle better
in and out of crosswinds. Like most things in life, it's all about
compromize.

dogger
 

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Look up DJ's alignment specs for Tundras...apply the same reasoning to your Sequoia, the adjustment/specifications are probably very, very similar.

Next...make sure your tires aren't waaaaaay overinflated. Put the tires at what's listed on the door...don't let them bump the tires up to 45# or something ridiculous...they aren't Firestones on an Explorer.

If my tires are overinflated the truck feels squirmy on the highway and in turns...kinda freakish honestly...that's at 35# front and rear. Dropping back to the 26# (front) listed on the door settles it down, and on the Tundra with an unloaded rear I run a different pressure (24#) than they recommend on the door--40#--which would be for a loaded truck.

If the tires are overinflated or the alignment is bad, it will feel like the wind is going to blow the truck off the road. Make sure you check both and make sure they're inflating to the correct pressure, not the legal-department-recommended pressure...too high hurts as much as too low, just in different ways.

-Sean
 

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The fix is easy and it's cheap.

Replace your steering rack bushings. You can read all about it on this thread.

I replaced mine on my '00 Tundra about a month ago and on my wife's '01 Sequoia last Sunday.

The original bushings are made of rubber and are quite soft. When the wind blows from the side, the old bushings compress, which causes the rack to shift to the side, which causes the wheels to steer to the side, and you have to correct for that with the steering wheel. The wind varies, so the steering varies.

The replacement bushings are made of plastic and are quite hard. When the wind blows from the side, the new bushings don't compress, which means the rack doesn't shift to the side, which means the wheels don't steer to the side, and you don't have to correct for anything with the steering wheel. Even when the wind varies, the steering doesn't.

The difference is amazing. It costs about $40 or so and took me about 20 minutes to change.

And, I would have the alignment checked after the change. This fix will NOT change camber and caster, but it can change the toe settings and it might make your steering wheel be non-level when the vehicle rolls in a straight line. A simple toe re-alignment will fix that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guys. Thanks for all of the great information. I did follow DJs specs and had the caster maxed out. The bushing replacement sounds like something to try next - and lowering the ride also may be doable. I don't climb many rocks on Rt 287... although with last weeks monsoon, I did have to ford some streams... Thanks.
 
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